Indonesia's Defence Strategy in Anticipating the Us-China Competition in the South China Sea

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Renny Setiowati , Sundring Pantja Jati , Mohammad Ali , Pujo Widodo , Bambang Suharjo


The South China Sea become one of the conflicts epicentrum in 21st century. The South China Sea area includes waters and land located in an archipelago of two large islands, namely the Spratly and Paracel, as well as the banks of the Macclesfield River and Scarborough Reef which stretch from Singapore, starting from the Malacca Strait to the Taiwan Straits, on the one hand, Indonesia supports the prospect of peace in the South China Sea for economic development and domestic stability, Indonesian policymakers are worried about China's interpretation of the South China Sea claims, which also includes deposits of natural gas and other natural resources in it. On the other hand, Indonesia is committed to defending the rights of an archipelagic country that has been listed in UNCLOS 1982. To boost national sovereignty around Natuna Island and The North Natuna Sea, Indonesia’s government deploy defence diplomacy that can be explained as a combination of diplomacy and defence effort. In terms of diplomacy, Indonesia supports any dialogue effort between claimant states that will be led to the adoption and codification of the code of conduct by every claimant state, so every confrontation in The The South China Sea could be shifted into constructive dialogue. On another hand, the synergy between various ministries, such as The Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries and other related institutions also needed to bolster the effort of data exchange, cooperation, coordination and continuous surveillance toward suspicious activity in The North Natuna Sea.

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